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Steps for choosing the right social media channel

Updated: Aug 31, 2020

In this post, I cover:

  1. Steps to choose the right social media channel

  2. Testing the chosen social media channel, the growth-marketer way.

  3. List of 24+ growth marketing channels to consider

  4. 200 tools to use for social media marketing. Free airtable sheet.

Steps for choosing the right social media channel

  1. Define your target audience. Create user personas.

  2. Find out which channels are they use using a data study such as this one

  3. Know your product and know the identity of the social media channel. For eg, people come to Linkedin in a work-related mindset, product hunt to discover new tech product.

  4. Your user persona's must now mention the channels.

  5. Reiterate these steps for the customer, consumer and any other influencers in the customer journey.

Some templates to have a look at:

Download this User Persona Template

Questions to answer before finalising a channel:

  1. Is your audience active on that channel.

  2. Is the marketing channel aligned with your business

  3. Is your channel not overly competitive.

If you answer yes, to all three questions then choose that marketing channel.

Testing the social media channel

Test that channel using paid media before investing time and resources. The first test is to run a $20/day ad campaign and see if you can get the ideal prospects.

Give channels the opportunity to scale before deciding to cut it off. The bare minimum is that you are getting the right customers, regardless of the cpc/cpa.

What can you test?

  1. The timing: find the best time to post for your audience. You have hootsuite and other tools to tell you when your audience is most active. But make sure you rotate the posts at different times and try to reach everyone. Get insights on who views their twitter at what time. For eg, your user profile A views their posts in the morning. They have X goals and frustrations. Address those in your creatives in the morning. User profile B have a different set of goals and frustrations and they generally check their social channels in the evening. You need to know when to post what based on who is active.

  2. Content: Track how users are reacting to different pieces of content. Maybe they prefer downloadable content more than long form videos. Test and track metrics other than vanity metrics such as shares or likes. Tie those metrics back to your business goals (Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Intent, Evaluation and Purchase). Awareness metrics should be web traffic. Interest can be measured using lead gen and MQLs. Lead nurture is intent metric. Trial and Sales is purchase metric.

  3. CTA: Your call to actions should be tested too. Maybe 'Learn More' motivates a B2B client more than 'Subscribe' does. Find a list of ctas here

  4. Links: Do you use long urls or bitlys? Have you tried customising the url and creating a redirect? How can you utilise real estate wisely on Twitter but at the same time communicate the value proposition.

  5. Offer: Does free trial motivate the user more than requesting a quote? Some ideas to run through while making a compelling offer.

Startups can take a look at underutilised channels (Reddit, Tiktok, Pokemon, Podcasts, VR etc) that are emerging or channels that large companies aren't identifying. Are you designing for mobile first or desktop first?

Growth Marketing Channels to consider:

  1. Facebook's Oculus: For VR advertising channel

  2. Product Hunt: Great for SaaS companies, you can get easy sign ups for webinars or diys though no-show is a real problem.

  3. Podcasts: High income intelligent audience. You can get incredibly specific. Cheaper.

  4. Affiliate: you have tools available or you can simply use google analytics to set up affiliate tracking.

  5. Influencer Marketing: Difficult to implement but you do have lots of tools available to help do a job. You need to give influencers a guideline to work with but also allow them to be creative in their own way.

  6. Twitter: Talk to customers here, talk to other brands and have conversions. Be opinionated.

  7. Instagram: Younger audience, more tech savvy, content needs to be aesthetic and visual. Inspiring is a theme of Instagram.

  8. Facebook: Relatively cheaper, easier to scale, scroll-based attitude.

  9. Reddit: Meme format content appreciated. Very important to understand the audience on each subreddit. Talk to mods if possible.

  10. TikTok or rising alternatives - Short desirable products. More intuition based than rational product choices. Suitable for companies like Coke, Biteable.

  11. Quora: if customers have questions about your value prop, sponsor experts to answer relevant questions or diy. Use chrome extension Q-stat

  12. Online publishers (newspapers, media outlets): Easy to scale, build backlinks.

  13. Linkedin - B2B, high cost, properly targeted (Pro-tip: Use Linkedin Insights tag)

  14. Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Nykaa etc

  15. Spotify/Wynk etc - When product benefits can be communicated using audio only.

  16. YouTube - 5 seconds ads that convey everything. Give a deep discount or huge value ad.

  17. In-app marketing (see where your customers hang out):

  18. Telegram channels (quick and easy, create familiarity with brand)

  19. Slack groups (intent based, relevance, value add, send whitepapers)

  20. Gmail (to personalise)

  21. Imgur (for infographics, visual communication of product)

  22. Practo (for doctors)

  23. Justdial advertising: Spending a little money can bring a decent amount of revenue. JD generally ranks higher on search results.

  24. Wikipedia: Make edits to topics that are relevant to you product and service then backlink to your site. Not scalable but good start.

  25. Pinterest

I'll keep adding to this list so feel free to bookmark it.

Tools to help you get started.

All in one tools:

  1. HubSpot is an all-in-one inbound marketing platform with a focus on driving conversions and end-to-end analytics .

  2. Falcon is a social suite tailored to medium to enterprise-sized companies, letting them listen, engage, publish and measure on social media.

  3. All-in-one tool; good if you are managing lots of accounts.

  4. Brands24 and SocialBakers for monitoring the web. Both are expensive.

  5. Brandwatch is pretty neat too.

Tools for use cases:

  1. Twitter Analytics tool

  2. Iconosquare for Insta+FB

  3. Tailwind for Pinterest+Insta

  4. Buzzsumo to find the latest best performing content for a keyword.

  5. NinjaOutreach for influencer marketing

  6. Ahrefs for discovering content

Or use this airtable to find the right tool.

Disclaimer: some of the tools are outdated so feel free to filter them out.


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Connect with me on LinkedIn I write about marketing stuff that fascinates me.

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